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System crashes at idle, caused by GPU?

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juane414

Member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Location
Wisconsin
I have an interesting problem with my system (see sig) that I'm hoping somehow here can help with. About two years ago I acquired an Asus HD 6850 GPU that had just come back from being RMA'd. Since then, my computer will randomly crash when it's running at or near idle. For example, it will crash when I'm browsing the web or listening to music. Strangely, the computer never crashes while under load. I can play a game for hours at a time without it ever crashing. Since I never had an issue with the computer crashing before installing the Asus GPU, my theory is that the GPU is causing the computer to crash. And since it only crashes when I'm not doing anything graphics intensive, and it runs stable while gaming, my guess is that the GPU is somehow unstable during idle.

What happens is the screen will suddenly go completely gray for about 5 seconds. During those 5 seconds I still get sound. After that the screen goes black and the sound cuts out and I have to hard reboot. I tried downloading Asus' overclocking software, GPU Tweak, and increasing the voltage to see if that would stabilize the card at idle, but that didn't help. It still crashes.

Has anyone ever heard of this, or experienced this? I'm at the point where I'm ready to pull the trigger on a new card, but I'd like to keep this one if there is some way to make it stable. I've done some searching and it seems like my card is faulty and there is no way to fix it, but I thought I'd throw up a post on OCF as a last resort before I spend a bunch of money.

Thanks for reading!
 

Pepi93

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
I could suspect a few things but it is strange that it doesn't crash under load.

I would try to reset all the changes you've made such as voltage to stock values. Leave everything at stock until you figure out the issue.

Do a clean install of the driver and if you're using the most recent driver available, try an older one instead.

Could it be some type of system standby mode or power saving mode option on the hard disk etc?

You just received this card from an RMA? Did you reinstall drivers? Have you tried to reseat the card into the mobo slot?
 
OP
juane414

juane414

Member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Location
Wisconsin
Just to clarify, the card was my brother-in-laws and he RMA'd it. While waiting for the RMA to come back he bought a new card. When he got this one back I traded him a hard drive for it. I'm just guessing that the RMA did not fix the problem.

My system never crashed with my previous GPU, so that would seem to suggest it's not a problem with any power settings on the OS or the hard disk.

I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers. That did not fix the problem.

I have not tried reseating the card, so I'll give that a try tonight.
 

Pepi93

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
I hope someone with more knowledge and experience can help you out. Please report back if you find the issue.

The "my system never crashed before" could just be a coincidence. I've been there myself many times thinking that it was that new hardware/software I installed and it turned out to be completely not related and just happened to occur at that exact same time.
 
OP
juane414

juane414

Member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Location
Wisconsin
I still have my old GPU lying around somewhere. I can plug it in and run the computer for a few days and see what happens. My computer doesn't crash every single day, but it's a rare day when it doesn't crash, and sometimes it crashes multiple times. So if I swap out GPUs I should know pretty quick.

I'm pretty darn close to just pulling the trigger on an R9 380... but I suppose I should make sure it is the GPU that's causing the crashes before I do that.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
it sounds more like vcore sag to me if it's a bsod at idle, try raising the base vcore 2 clicks and see what happens, i have run into this myself a time or two.
 

Pepi93

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
it sounds more like vcore sag to me if it's a bsod at idle, try raising the base vcore 2 clicks and see what happens, i have run into this myself a time or two.

Hmm, maybe before you reinstalled the drivers you had your power management to performance and after the install it defaulted to adaptive? I forget how AMD drivers manage that...
 
OP
juane414

juane414

Member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Location
Wisconsin
it sounds more like vcore sag to me if it's a bsod at idle, try raising the base vcore 2 clicks and see what happens, i have run into this myself a time or two.
I tried doing this. It didn't fix it, unfortunately.

Hmm, maybe before you reinstalled the drivers you had your power management to performance and after the install it defaulted to adaptive? I forget how AMD drivers manage that...
I just checked, and my power management is set to high performance.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
AMD's drivers were a big problem with black screens not long ago. The Catalyst drivers (CCC) were dropping the idle speed of the GPUs down so low they couldn't come up when demand rose. I have been getting random black screens since the new Radeon driver suite. The cure previously was download MSI Afterburner and use it to manually set the GPU 2D speed to something above the default 300 MHz. I ended up at 800 MHz for my 2D profile. I stopped using Afterburner after the Catalyst drivers fixed it (15.9 , 15.10?). Now it's back and I'm going to go back to Afterburner and see what happens.